Sunday, May 27, 2012

recovery toolbox

I wanted to share some of the things that have helped me in my recovery.  It think it's so important for us to have our "recovery toolboxes" so we have those things can that help us, soothe us, encourage us, inspire us, help us cope, & keep us strong in our recovery.  Here are some of mine:

Friends & Family:  This one is very important to me.  To have their continued support is a huge strength in my recovery.  I think that it's so important to have people that you can trust, that you can talk to, that you can lean on when you are struggling.  And I have found in my own experience that when I voice my thoughts, feelings, or urges... I am less likely to act on eating disorder behaviors.  Because when I am able to talk about it and process it in a healthy way, I have found that the behaviors then don't seem as strong and overpowering.   Talking to someone gives the eating disorder less power, and makes you a lot stronger.

Be Creative: Creativity is a HUGE part of my life.  It's one of the biggest parts of ME.  I use this a lot in my recovery also, whether it is through art, music, writing, it was the easiest & most natural way for me to express my feelings.  To understand and process my feelings in a healthy way.  I am a very creative person and I spend a lot of my time in my every day life doing things that are creative.  Music is a huge one for me.  Music soothes me and helps me to center myself.  It is one of the things that I go to when I need some peace or comfort.  Music heals me.  Another one is writing.  Writing is in my soul.  Whether it's songwriting, journaling, poems, stories, letters, whatever... writing is one of my biggest passions.  And it has helped me and continues to help me in my recovery.

Mindfulness: The definition of mindfulness is:  "Mindfulness refers to being completely in touch with and aware of the present moment, as well as taking a non-evaluative and non-judgmental approach to your inner experience. For example, a mindful approach to one's inner experience is simply viewing "thoughts as thoughts" as opposed to evaluating certain thoughts as positive or negative."  This one was so so so so hard for me to learn!  Feeling my feelings and staying in the moment were things that I was terrified of and I ran away from it for the longest time during my recovery.  But once I was finally able to learn how to be mindful.  Things changed, and they changed for the better!  It's a process for sure, and I am still learning how to be mindful, but I find that when I am mindful when it comes to eating, to exercising, to feeling my feelings, or just living each day... I have found that things are SO much better when I am being mindful.

Helping others:  I love to help others.  Whether it's through acts of service, helping people who are in need, giving a note to someone who is having a rough day, or helping others who are struggling with their own addictions and need support... my heart is filled when I am able to give of myself to help someone else.  When we do things for other people, it takes us away from our own "selves" and our own problems.  And who doesn't feel happy when they know they are helping someone else or making someone else's day a little better?  I think service is such an important thing.  And I believe this is one of the things we can do that not only helps the person we are helping but it also helps us become stronger in our own recovery. 

Those are the main things in my toolbox... but there are also other things in there.  Things that I use to help soothe me, things to help me cope when I am struggling, and things to help me stay strong in my recovery.  Some of those things are:  Laying outside in the sun reading, writing, or just closing my eyes and relaxing.  Taking a nap, going for a walk, going for a drive, talking a bubble bath, getting a massage.  Eating no matter what.  Especially when I don't feel like eating - because when I don't feel like eating... it usually means I need to eat.  Exercising in a healthy way.  Coloring in a coloring book or drawing.  Putting together a jigsaw puzzle!  That is one of the things that relaxes me the most.  I love to sing along to music and sit on my floor and work on a puzzle.  Going to the park and swinging on the swings.  Playing sports.  Spending time with people I love.  Going window shopping or browsing through thrift stores and finding hidden treasures. 

I think it's SO important to have a recovery toolbox, and I hope that all of you who haven't made one already, can think about the things that you can put in your toolbox and then USE those things when you need them.  Our toolboxes are there to strengthen our recovery and to strengthen ourselves.  That's what they are there for!  They are there to protect us from relapses and from the eating disorder.  So let your toolbox help you.  They can and they will if you let them.


  1. These are all such great tools to have! I think I may need to look further into the technique of mindfulness. It seems so helpful Jenn.♥

  2. Such great advice, you're so so right, thank you <3